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Narasimha who is one of the most powerful avatars of Lord Vishnu, (the protector in the Hindu Triad) is known to be fierce to fight and remove all that is evil and as a result protect all his devotees from every negative aspect of life. He is regarded as the embodiment of victory of good over evil.
Vishnu assumed this fierce form on top of Himvat mountain (Harivamsa). He is believed to have taken the avatar to destroy the demon king Hiranyakashipu.
Lord Narasimha is said to have half human and half lion appearance where the torso and the lower body is that of human while the face and claws are that of a ferocious lion. In conjunction with the bodily appearances, Lord Narasimha is described in various forms and is said to have about more than 74 forms with respect to different postures and weapons that he holds in his hands. The 9 main ones are collectively known as Nava-narasiṁha and as follows :
Out of these forms, the Lakṣmī-narasiṁha is the form where Goddess Lakshmi is sitting on His lap and the Lord is calmer than the other forms.
Due to the nature of Narasiṁha’s form (divine anger), it is essential that worship be given with a very high level of attention compared to other deities.
In many temples only lifelong celibates (Brahmācārya) are able to have the chance to serve as priests to perform the daily puja. Forms where Narasiṁha appears sitting in a yogic posture, or with the Goddess Lakṣmī are the exception to this rule, as Narasiṁha is taken as being more relaxed.
The form and outlook of Lord Narasimha teach us that evil does not triumph over good. Those who support malevolence would be annihilated by God as He is everywhere. A number of Mantras in Sanskrit herald, praise and pray to Lord Narasimha and chanting any chosen Narasimha Mantra with due reverence, diligence and devotion can remove fears and bestow all good on the devotees. A collection of simple, but profound Narasimha Mantras that can confer multifarious benefits are as given below.
Narasimha Maha Mantra
“Om hrim ksaumugram viram mahavivnumjvalantam sarvatomukham।
Nrsimham bhisanam bhadrammrtyormrtyum namamyaham ॥”
Meaning: ‘Oh Angry and brave Maha-Visnu, your heat and fire permeate everywhere. O Lord Narasimha, you are everywhere. You are the death of death and I surrender to You.’
Benefit: Reciting this Mantra with utmost devotion results in the gain of the armour of Narasimha which protects everything that is blessed and destroys all problems of the chanter.
Narasimha Pranama Prayer
“Namaste narasimhaya, prahladahlada-dayine, hiranyakasipor vaksah, sila-tanka nakhalaye |“
Ito nrsimhah parato nrsimho, yato yato yami tato nrsimhah, bahir nrsimho hrdaye nrsimho, nrsimham adim saranam prapadye ||”
Meaning: ‘I offer my obeisances to Lord Narasimha, who gives joy to Prahlada Maharaja and whose nails are like chisels on the stone like chest of the demon Hiranyakasipu.
Lord Narasimha is here and also there. Wherever I go Lord Narasimha is there. He is in the heart and is outside as well. I surrender to Lord Narasimha, the origin of all things and the supreme refuge.’
Benefit : This is a powerful mantra that when recited regularly will relieve people of their debts and insolvency however severe and acute and give protection against any further problematic situations.
“Tava kara-kamala-vare nakham adbhuta-srngam,
kesava dhrta-narahari-rupa jaya jagadisa hare ||”
Meaning: O Kesava! O Lord of the universe! O Hari, who have assumed the form of half-man and half-lion, all glories to You! Just as one can easily crush a wasp between one’s fingernails, so in the same way the body of the wasp-like demon Hiranyakasipu has been ripped apart by the wonderful pointed nails on your beautiful lotus hands.’
“Tvayi raksati raksakaih kimanyaih,
tvayi caraksati raksakaih kimanyaih iiti niscita dhih srayami nityam,
nrhare vegavati taṭasrayam tvam॥”
Meaning: ‘O Kamasikha Narasimha! You are sarva sakthan. When you are resolved to protect some one, where is the need to seek the protection of anyone else? When you are resolved not to protect some one, which other person is capable of protecting us? There is no one. Knowing this fundamental truth, I have resolved to offer my saraṇagati at your lotus feet alone that rest at the banks of Vegavati river.’
“Adi adi agam karaindhu isaipadip padik kannir malgi engumnadi nadi narasinga endru, vadi vaduum ivval nuthale ||”
Meaning: ‘I will dance and melt for you, within my heart, to see you, I will sing in praise of you with tears of joy, I will search for Narasiṁha and I am a householder who still searches to reach you (to attain Salvation).’
Narasimha Gayatri Mantra
“Om Nrisimhaye vidmahe vajranakhaya dhimahi tan no simhah Prachodayat |
Vajra nakhaya vidmahe tikshna damstraya dhimahi tan no narasimhah Prachodayat ||”
Meaning: ‘Om! Let us be well aware of Nrisimha, the lightning-nailed. May the Lion promote our thought and actions. Let us meditate on He who is known as the possessor of nails as hard as thunderbolts and sharp teeth. Let us all be enthused by Lord Narasimhadeva.”
Sri Narasimha Maha Mantra
It is stated in Shastra that this mantra is the essence of all kavacha mantras, or mantras meant for wearing in a kavacha (capsule). The mantra is often written on a small piece of bark, such as from the botch tree. Then it is sealed in the capsule with a tulasi (Holy Basil) leaf or even flower petals that have been offered to the deity of Lord Narasimha. After worshipping the deity of Lord Narasimha with sixteen upacharas or items of worship, the pujari or priest performs a ritual called prana-pratistha: he calls the Lord to reside in the kavacha. He then worships the kavacha. Then it has full protective power. Men can wear the kavacha around the neck or on the upper right arm, while women wear it around the neck or on the upper left arm. The Kavacha may be worn in all circumstances, at any time, or in any place.
“Ugram viram maha-vishnum jvalantam sarvato mukham |
nrisimham bhishanam bhadram mrityur mrityum namamy aham ||”
Meaning : ‘I bow down to Lord Narasimha who is ferocious and heroic like Lord Vishnu. He is burning from every side. He is terrific, auspicious and the death of death personified.’
“Mata narasimha, pita narasimha
Bratha narasimha, sakha narasimha
Vidyaa narasimha, dravinam narasimha
Swami narasimha, sakalam narasimha
Itho narasimha, paratho narasimha
Yatho yatho yahihi, tatho narasimha
Narasimha devaath paro na kaschit
Tasmaan narasimha sharanam prapadye ||”
Meaning: ‘Mother is Narasimha; Father is Narasimha
Brother is Narasimha; Friend is Narasimha
Knowledge is Narasimha; Wealth is Narasimha
My Lord is Narasimha; Everything is Narasimha.
Narasimha is in this world, Narasimha is everywhere (Omnipresent)
Wherever I go, there is Narasimha
Narasimha is the Supreme Lord, there is none other than HIM
So, I humbly seek refuge in you, Shri Narasimha.’
Benefit: A simple sloka that acts as a ‘great protective shield’ at all times.
Narasimha Mantra Benefits
Narasimha Mantras, also known as Kavacha mantras have the power of protecting those who chant it. The literal meaning of Kavacha is armor or breast plate that the soldiers wear during wars to protect their bodies from the deadly weapons. In the same manner, the Kavacha mantras act as protective shields to safeguard the welfare of the devotees. If so, then imagine how powerful Narasimha Mantra could be when the sole purpose behind the incarnation of Lord Naraismha is to save his devotee.
Lord Narasimha is highly benign and merciful though he might appear ferocious. He came to being in response to the answer given by Prahlad to his angry father. When Hiranyakasipu, the demon king was torturing his son Prahlad since he was devoted to Lord Vishnu, the difficulties and dangers endured by Prahlad came to a saturation point. However, he was bearing all the troubles with patience and smile with a sense of total faith and surrender. At a point, Hiranyakashipu grew weary with the unchanging attitude of his son and asked him where Lord Vishnu was and whether Prahlad could show him. To this, Prahlad said he resides in every atom of the universe. Hearing this, Hiranyakashipu struck a pillar in the palace with his mace and asked whether Lord Vishnu was there in the pillar. When Prahlad smiled in confirmation, Lord Vishnu assumed the Narasimha form and emanated from the pillar only to kill the vicious demon Hiranyakashipu with his finger nails. Prahlad witnessed the divine incarnation and wondered at the majestic appearance of the Lord. The Lord blessed Prahlad and returned to his divine abode.
Chanting Narasimha Mantra can, therefore, remove all sufferings and alleviate the troubles of people. It can bestow the state of fearlessness, peace, prosperity and tranquility.
To have Lord Narasimha in one’s favour and get the best of results from chanting His mantras, one must keep in mind the following things :
- One should start chanting from a Thursday facing north.
- Yellow clothes should be worn for this purpose.
- A ghee lamp should be lit in front of Lord Narasimha and he should be offered with incense & flowers.
Thus, worshipping Lord Narasimha is the way to attain the ultimate salvation in life and get rid of everything evil and harmful. Chanting His mantras makes one’s life fall into sync and his mental peace is known to stay undisturbed.